Buddhist movements outside Asia form two categories: firstly there are the Buddhist traditions brought by immigrant Asians leaving their home countries to live and work abroad. These can be scrupulously similar in their rituals, beliefs and underlying philosophies to those these people left behind in Asia. In many ways that is an innate characteristic of those of us who have moved from one land to another.

Secondly, there are the movements formed by non-Asians who have created new, and often, innovatively ecumenical (at least within the Buddhist tradition, though sometimes also encapsulating elements of modern science or other religions or philosophies) récipes for their new form of Buddhism – the ingredients tend not to be new, but many of the combinations have been both revolutionary and successful in their new countries. One example is the organisation that is most associated with the Buddhist engagement with mindfulness in Europe: The Triratna Buddhist Community.

Originally intended as a Buddhist movement for Europeans, it became so successful in The Buddha’s country of birth, India, that the whole organisation had to change its name – it had, for over 30 years, been called The Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.